Pain above the right hip can be distressing, and while there is a tendency to jump to conclusions about the cause, there are many cases where people are way off base when it comes to why the pain developed.
When we experience pain in any part of our body, it can be scary. If it is in the abdominal area, this statement is particularly true. The abdomen is a vital part of our anatomy as it consists of the stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, kidneys, bladder, as well as the small and large intestine. Thankfully, most abdominal pain is resolved easily and quickly, but there are circumstances where it can be more serious. Did you know that sometimes pain above the right hip could be a sign of a problem within the abdomen?
Organs located above the right hip
To gain a full understanding of right side pain above the hip, it helps to know what organs are located above that hip. First and foremost, the hip is the joint where the acetabulum of the pelvic bone and the head of the femur meet. The femur is the thighbone. We point this out because most people refer to their pelvic bones as being their hip or specifically the upper portion, called the ilium. When people refer to this part of the body, they could, in fact, be talking about the iliac crest, which is where three bones merge to make up the hipbone. This area relates to the following:
- Cecum (a pouch) of the large intestine
- Ascending colon (one of four major regions of the colon)
- Right ureter (urine duct)
- Right ovary and fallopian tubes in women
Pain on the right side above the hip should be considered under the classification of right lower quadrant pain, as opposed to simply hip pain.
What causes pain above the right hip?
A lot of people experience hip pain at some point in there lives and it doesn’t last long, but if you have hip pain that doesn’t go away and is impacting your movement, you need to consider that there might be a reason, other than a pulled muscle or bruised bone due to physical activity. If you ever ask yourself, why is there pain in my right hip, remember the potential pain above right hip causes outlined below.
Abdominal wall problems
Made of skin, fat, muscles, and facia, an injury to the abdominal wall, muscle strain, hernia, irritation, or an infection can cause pain above the right hip. Usually, severe tenderness occurs along with the pain.
This is inflammation of the appendix, which is a long tube of tissue that runs from the large intestine. We can live without an appendix, but if left untreated, an inflamed appendix will burst, causing infection in the abdomen. This infection can lead to peritonitis, a serious inflammation in the lining of the abdomen, which can be fatal. An inflamed appendix can also lead to an abscess, which can also lead to peritonitis. Almost all cases of appendicitis are treated with surgery and are considered an emergency.
When one or more pouches called diverticula form in the lining of the digestive system and become inflamed or infected, it is called diverticulitis. This condition can lead to severe stomach pain, fever, nausea, as well as a noticeable change in bowel habits. This problem is common in the West and the risk of getting it increases with age.
Symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting (much like signs of flu) are often gastroenteritis. The cause can usually be traced to a viral or bacterial infection. Viral gastroenteritis is actually called the stomach flu.
These are open sores that can develop on the inside lining of the stomach and upper part of the small intestine. Peptic ulcers can also be gastritis and happen on the inside of the stomach. A peptic ulcer is often accompanied by stomach pain. Most of the ulcers are caused by an infection due to the bacterium H. pylori.
Also referred to as colorectal cancer, this is a malignant tumor or tumors that develop in the colon. The growth of cancer can begin in the colon and spread elsewhere in the body. Colon cancer is in the top 10 of most common cancers. It can be very aggressive.
This is a blockage that prevents food or liquid from passing through the small or large intestine. It may be the result of adhesions, which are fibrous bands of tissue, or it could be from Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, hernias, or colon cancer. Prompt treatment is crucial.
These are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that can form inside the kidneys. Sometimes they develop when urine becomes too concentrated and minerals crystallize. Lower back pain on the right side above the hip can be a sign of kidney stones. Many people pass kidney stones and don’t require any medical intervention; however, others might require surgery for situations like stones becoming lodged in the urinary tract.
This can mean an infection in any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The majority of UTIs involve the bladder and the urethra. An infection in the bladder can spread to the kidneys, which can be serious. At least 50 percent of women report having a UTI at some point in their lives.
This is a common hormonal disorder in women of reproductive age. While the exact cause is unknown, we can tell you that early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the risk of complications such as type-2 diabetes and heart disease. Women with PCOS can have difficulty conceiving since they can fail to release eggs on a regular basis.
This is a painful disorder that causes tissue to grow outside of the uterus. It involves the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining the pelvis. When endometriosis involves ovaries, cysts can form. As a result, surrounding tissues can become irritated and adhesions can develop.
The ureter can become infected due to a bladder infection or kidney infection. Uncomfortable and painful, the risk of infection can quickly spread to other urinary related organs and impact a person’s ability to expel waste through urine.
As you can see, pain on the right side just above the right hip can mean many different things. While the above list covers the majority of issues that could be at play when you think you have a right hip problem, it is important to get a full physical assessment and tests to pinpoint the exact cause.
There are people who fracture their hip, dislocate their hip, tear cartilage that surrounds the edge of the socket in the pelvic area, or who have osteoarthritis in their hip. The long list of possibilities demonstrates that we should not take matters into our own hands. Once a proper diagnosis is made, only then can the right treatment be applied.